October 25, 2012

proof whisky, walking dead, Vol. 106

We’re back. Recently, we were contacted by a certain group of researchers, sharing the same name as our brand. The funny thing is, we both deal in spirits. We weren’t sure whether to send them a cease and desist letter (kidding guys) or to partner up with this far-out bunch. Well Scoob, hang on to your Scooby snacks, we are in for a spooky treat.  We would like to formally introduce you to proo(f) Paranormal Researchers of Ontario.

proo(f) zombie 1/4 oz fresh lime juice • 1/4 oz fresh lemon juice • 2 oz white cranberry juice • 1/2 oz Apricot Brandy • 2 oz proof rum (optional - replace 1 oz proof rum with 1 oz proof spiced rum*) • ½ oz lychee juice (from can) • 2 dashes bitters • 1/4 oz Grenadine (for garnish) • canned lychee fruit (for garnish)

Combine all liquids (with the exception of the grenadine) in a cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake.  Strain into a tall thin glass filled two-thirds with ice. Garnish with whole lychee fruit. Drizzle a little grenadine over the lychee fruit.

*proof spiced rum 500 ml bottle proof rum • 1 vanilla bean • 1 star anise • a few cloves • 1 cinnamon stick • 1 piece allspice • 1 piece orange zest
Add all the spices to a 500 ml bottle of proof rum. Cover tightly with a lid, shake a few times and place in a cool, dark spot or in the refrigerator and let sit for at least 24-36 hours. Make sure to check it every day to ensure that you are happy with the intensity. You can remove certain flavours as you go, to intensify the ones that you like most. We tend to remove the citrus after day one, and keep the vanilla until the very end.


gruesome halloween garnishes We generally like to keep things looking as natural as possible when it comes to food and drink. So, instead of rushing out to buy rubber spiders and spooky swizzle sticks, we hit the grocery store. There are many fruits, veggies and, yes, cured meats that can make a drink look really disgusting and creepy. Here are some options.

dead fruit or veggies (anything pickled, dried or jarred) Bulk Barn carries a really good selection of dried blueberries, dates, blackberries and apples. Pickles, olives, sundried tomatoes, etc. also resemble creepy crawlers and things that may have escaped the cemetery. Mixed with the right colour of drink, it can look really gross, but taste really good.
food carvings Carve a pumpkin face out of an orange or carrot or make shrunken apple heads
seeds & nuts such as pumpkin, black sesame, poppy, almonds, pomegranate seeds or bloody teeth
cured meats pepperettes, cooked bacon, cocktail weenies, prosciutto

glassware You can also have fun with a range of glassware. Try using smoked retro glass, depression glass, black or orange glass, mini chemistry bottles or test tubes – anything that looks old. Have fun with your presentation!


'(f)ear is the only variable'proo(f) is a team of Paranormal Investigators based in Durham Region, Ontario. We conduct objective research and investigations into the unexplained.

Our team consists of 4 experienced professionals who collectively have been studying and researching the paranormal for over 20 years. Our priority is to try and provide answers and relief to people troubled by events they cannot explain. If you or someone you know could benefit from our help, please contact us today. To get in contact with us, you can email your questions, comments, concerns, or places of interest to: info@proofcanada.com (www.proofcanada.com)

Proo(f) is currently pitching a series and sent us a link to their concept episode
AND here is a video of proo(f)'s very own Katie, mixing the proo(f) zombie


Paranormal Activity is a 2007 American supernatural horror movie written and directed by Oren Peli. The film centers on a young couple, Katie and Micah, who are haunted by a supernatural presence in their home. It is presented in the style of found footage, from cameras set up by the couple in an attempt to photograph what is haunting them. Originally developed as an independent feature and given film festival screenings in 2007, the film was acquired by Paramount Pictures and modified, particularly with a new ending. It was given a limited U.S. release on September 25, 2009, and then a nationwide release on October 16, 2009. The film earned nearly $108 million at the U.S. box office and $194 million worldwide.

These movies are CRAZY scary and they have just released Paranormal Activity 4. Here is the trailor If this series is too much for you, you may want to go old school and revisit the Ghostbusters Trilogy. It’s a classic.

Speaking of the grotesque...we attended the Zombie Walk at Nathan Phillips Square on Sunday and we were a little creeped-out to say the least. 

Toronto Zombie Walk is in its 10th year. This year, however, was the first year that it partnered with the Heart & Stroke Foundation. (www.torontozombiewalk.ca)

Blog TO did a great piece on all of Toronto’s best haunted buildings. We thought that we would check out the Keg for ourselves, so we have booked a dinner there on the weekend. The Keg Mansion (515 Jarvis Street 416-964-6609 www.kegsteakhouse.com)

If you are truly interested in finding out more about toronto’s spirit life, check out one of these toronto ghost walks:(http://www.muddyyorktours.com)(http://www.hauntedwalk.com)(http://www.tourguys.ca)(http://burlingtonghostwalks.com)

Spooky Weekend Forecast:
Saturday: Drizzle and a high of 9 degrees
Sunday: Gloomy and a high of 7 degrees

October 13, 2012


We will be closing the proof is in from Monday, October 15th to 
Thursday, October 25th.
Check back in on the 25th for our special Halloween Edition!

October 11, 2012

proof whisky, meals on wheels, Vol. 105

autumn punch 6 cups apple cider or fresh apple juice • 6 oz proof whisky • juice of 1 ½ limes • 3 tsps freshly grated ginger • 3 tsps maple syrup • golden apple • 1 lemon
Mix apple cider, proof whisky, maple syrup, lime juice and ginger in a pitcher or thermos. Add ice, thinly sliced apples and lemons.


Gone are the days of street meat and greasy truck fries (unless you like these and they do still exist) Throughout the streets of Toronto a rotating cast of food trucks show up every weekday. The options include fish tacos, crab and lobster rolls, Southern barbecue, Jewish brisket sandwiches, fried calamari pitas, and kale and arugula salads.

The best way to locate the trucks is via @ontfoodtrucks on Twitter, follow them individually or try http://torontofoodtrucks.ca.

Featured on the Toronto Food Trucks blog is the latest British addition, The Feisty Jack.
“After a busy summer, things don’t seem to be slowing down for Toronto’s growing food truck scene even with colder weather approaching. The newest kid on the food truck block is The Feisty Jack, a truck dedicated to traditional and modern takes on classic British food. Owner William Randolph grew up in the food business in London spending time in family run pubs and later going on to formally train as a chef. (http://266007333636044962.weebly.com)

You can also download the Eat St app, which will give you a real time option on locating your favourite street fare, the closest trucks, etc. (http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/eat-st./id425451799?mt=8)

We will be serving up William Cider and our own autumn punch at this year’s Whisky Live! It all happens tomorrow, Friday, October 12th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. (tickets online www.whiskylive.com)

This is your last chance to send us your own original recipes. We will be featuring our favourites next week. (info@proofbrands.com)

Weekend Forecast:
Saturday: Isolated showers and a high of 12 degrees.
Sunday: Cloudy with showers and a high of 18 degrees.

October 4, 2012

proof whisky, a Thanksgiving tradition, Vol. 104

If you have followed our recipes from the start, you will already know about our Thanksgiving tradition of taking a forest walk before dinner. We usually pack up a themed-appetizer and cocktail spread and head over to a wonderful trail near Georgian Bay where 11 small bridges span a gorgeous creek. www.simcoecountytrails.net/trails/lineartrails/maps/Penetanguishene.pdf
Last year’s theme was the make thyme cocktail and herbed cheese ball. This year, we are re-featuring our first ever Thursty Thursday cocktail (it has become a tradition because it is so popular), the peppered apricot. Created by the martini club, this drink is just as good pre-made, as it is mixed on the spot. (www.martiniclub.com) For more information on proof brands, visit www.proofbrands.com, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to get last minute updates on tastings, parties & events.

the peppered apricot This peppery autumnal drink offers a perfect balance of sweet and zippy. It works beautifully as both an aperitif to your thanksgiving meal, and as a delicious afternoon sipper on your backyard stoop. We find that it is best enjoyed with peppery-aged cheeses, smoky nuts, caramelized onions and lamb dishes.

single size 1 ½ oz proof whisky • 1/8 fresh lemon • ½ oz vanilla syrup* • 4 oz Ceres apricot juice (available at most major grocery chains) • crushed peppercorns • LOTS of ice
In a rocks glass filled with ice, add 1 ½ oz. proof whisky, the juice of 1/8 fresh lemon, ½ oz. vanilla syrup and 4 oz. apricot juice. Garnish with a lime wedge.


pitcher or thermos-size 12 oz proof whisky • the juice of 1 lemon • 4 oz vanilla syrup* • 32 oz or 1L of Ceres apricot juice (available at most major grocery chains) Crushed peppercorns (to taste) • LOTS of ice

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher, add 1-2 cups of ice, and stir well.

*vanilla simple syrup Combine equal parts of sugar and boiling water. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Pour into a jar or bottle with a lid and drop in a 1 inch piece of vanilla bean (you can substitute a 1/4 teaspoon of real vanilla extract for the bean). Let cool and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. This syrup is also great in your morning coffee. You can re-use the vanilla bean once the syrup is gone by putting it in your sugar bowl for vanilla sugar. (You can infuse your simple syrup with a variety of flavours by adding ingredients like cinnamon sticks, cloves and other extracts.)

We have tested a couple of awesome recipes to accompany the peppered apricot. They will also travel well on your nature walk.

spiced nuts 2 tbsp olive oil • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce  • 1 tsp ground cumin • 1 tsp smoked paprika • 1 tsp garam masala or mild curry powder • 1 cup mixed nuts (such as pecans, brazils and almonds)

Preheat oven to 180°C. Put the oil, Worcestershire sauce and spices into the roasting tin with the nuts and toss together. Roast for 10 minutes then stir and cook for a further 5 minutes until golden. Turn out onto kitchen paper to remove excess oil and serve sprinkled with sea salt.

Leek, Prosciutto and Cheese EmpaƱadas 3/4 cup chopped well-rinsed white and pale green part of leek (about 1/2 pound untrimmed) • 2 tablespoons chopped sliced prosciutto or ham (about 2 thin slices) • 1 tablespoon olive oil • 3 tablespoons water • 2 tablespoons grated Manchego cheese or mild white Cheddar cheese • 1 sheet (about 1/2 pound) frozen puff pastry, thawed an egg wash made by beating together 1 large egg and 1 teaspoon water

Preheat oven to 425°F. In a small heavy skillet cook leek and prosciutto in oil over moderate heat, stirring, until leek is softened. Add water and cook, covered, over low heat until leek is soft, about 10 minutes. Pour off any excess water. Remove skillet from heat and add salt and pepper to taste. Let filling cool completely and stir in cheese. Roll out puff pastry on lightly floured surface into a 12-inch square and with a 4-inch round cutter cut out 4 rounds. Divide filling among rounds, mounding it in the center, and brush edges of rounds with water. Fold rounds in half, pressing edges together firmly, and crimp edges with tines of fork to seal well. Empanadas may be prepared up to this point 1 day in advance and dept covered and chilled. Arrange empanadas on a dampened baking sheet and brush with egg wash. Prick top of each empanada several times with fork (for steam vents). Bake empanadas in upper third of oven until puffed and golden, 12 to 15 minutes. (The empanadas can be put together ahead of time and popped into the oven to bake just before serving.)


For our list of ingredients we first hit the Leslieville Cheese Market (891 Queen Street East www.leslievillecheese.com) for some great manchego cheese. 

While in the area, we picked up some baked goods at Brick Street Bakery, (255 Logan Avenue www.brickstreetbakery.ca) and a couple of pints of pumpkin ice-cream at Ed’s Real Scoop. (http://www.edsrealscoop.com)


We want to feature your recipes! There is still time to send us your favourite original autumn recipe, your name, photos and/or any relevant stories to info@proofbrands.com. We will try the recipes, select our favourites and feature them in October. The winners will receive a proof goody bag.

Weekend Forecast:
Saturday: Variable cloudiness and a high of 13 degrees.
Sunday: Variable cloudiness and a high of 10 degrees.
Monday: Variable cloudiness and a high of 12 degrees.

Happy Thanksgiving!